The Coalition’s 2016 Memorandum of Understanding is not the Law of the Land
Written by Ebou Ngum in Columbus Ohio
The Coalition’ might have crumbled but mark my words folks there is no need to have cold feet because the memorandum of understanding signed by the parties in 2016 is simply not the law of the land. It is an agreement that beholds the incumbent to accede to base on principles. There is no provision in the 1997 constitution which states that parties could form an alliance to bring about regime change but should be bound by any agreement entered to that effect irrespective of the fact that the constitution stipulates otherwise.
We heard Halifa Sallah loud and clear. When the coalition members were drafting that memorandum of understanding, they knew the constitution stipulates 5 years for the term of the President. The 3 years agreement was just a tactic that they though when executed could usher in a level planning field in Gambian politics, allow them to organize fresh elections and thus reduce the possibility of self-perpetuating rule..
President Adama Barrow has every right to remain in power until 2021 per section 63 of the constitution. Also, he can decide to apply a little bit of morality and abide by the coalition’s memorandum in regards to the 3 years term and resign in December per section 65 of the constitution. This will serve the purpose of the Coalition’s 3 years mandate.
To think that embarking on a massive protest to unseat Barrow is the solution is incorrect. Of course, a peaceful demonstration is legal and those wanting to stage such are within their constitutional rights. However, for any group of people to rely on the coalition’s memorandum of understanding as a basis to force Barrow to step down is too much to ask for. President Barrow cannot simply be cornered to relinquish power in December.
The damage has been done and at this time what the coalition parties can do is to come together, go back to the drawing table and issue one statement. In my view, I do not think it is right to condone the type of back-stabbing that happened when only part of the coalition members went to the State house to agree that Barrow’s term was extended to 5 years. This has created some cracks within the coalition and we are now seeing one party after the other issuing disclaimers. There is too much animosity going on between the coalition parties and this has to be fixed.